Last week, Daniel Cormier’s long-rumored title fight with Brock Lesnar fell apart when Lesnar officially retired from MMA. It’s finally time Cormier breaks his silence on the topic.
Today (Mon., May 6, 2019), Cormier spoke up on the matter during his first appearance of 2019 on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.” Cormier has received some flack for waiting to fight a man who doesn’t have an official win since 2010. Most thought he should give Miocic an immediate rematch given the fact that he had the most consecutive UFC heavyweight title defenses.
Cormier didn’t seem to feel too bad, though, as he claimed that Miocic would have done the same thing:
“With this whole Brock Lesnar thing, it was, when Stipe and I’s fight got announced, Stipe and I both were pretty knowledgeable with the idea that whoever won was probably gonna get to fight Lesnar. And I imagine he was going to do the same thing that I did. I mean, obviously, he wouldn’t have minded waiting; he waited, and he lost.”
More Than Just Money
Cormier then opened up on his desire to face Lesnar.
There was the obvious monster payday of such a fight. But Cormier claimed the two had a history dating back to their collegiate wrestling days. Now that it’s not a realistic possibility, however, he said it was simply time to move on to the next thing:
“So I got excited. You know, as a fan of Brock and as a guy that’s known Brock for a long time. Brock and I have a story. You know, he was the heavyweight and I was the ’97-pounder and people would always wonder who would win. Minnesota-Oklahoma State, so there’s a lot of history in terms of why I wanted to compete against him.
“But when it didn’t happen, you know, you just kind of move on to the next thing and this is what it is. It was a little disappointing in the sense that I would have loved to compete against him. It was a big fight, a big moment, but I’ve always kind of been a guy that does what’s next.”
As for just what happened between Lesnar and the UFC to make ‘The Beast’ retire from the sport, Cormier wasn’t sure. He said a lot of things go into these decisions and he has to move on:
“I don’t know, I think that when we get these fights, there’s a lot of negotiations, there are a lot of things that need to be discussed and hammered out. I don’t know if Brock was able to come to terms with the UFC, I just don’t know. I’m sure he’ll bounce back. He always seems to land on his feet. I just know that I got a call saying that, “Brock is gonna be done fighting’ and, ‘What do you want to do next?’”
Cormier then closed by sticking to his guns in terms of his prior statement that he would rematch Miocic if the Lesnar fight fell through. It did, and here he is:
“I’ve said it from day one and I’ve always been firm in that belief that when Brock wasn’t fighting, that was the conversation we always had. Well, I‘ve always said I’d fight Stipe again if Lesnar couldn’t fight, so I said, ‘Let’s fight Stipe.’”